If members and alumni of Simpson’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity looked tired on the morning of July 31, they had a good reason.
They were waiting to learn how the local chapter had fared in the John O. Moseley Zeal Award, the most prestigious award that SAE bestows. The announcement was made at 10 p.m. in Phoenix, Ariz., making it midnight in central Iowa.
The wait was worth it: Simpson’s chapter won the award, competing against 240 other chapters in the U.S. and Canada.
“It was a surprise for us and it was a great honor for us as well,” said Nate Sams, fraternity president.
Sams joined two other junior members of the fraternity, Pierce Carey and Jacob Bruns, at the three-day John O. Moseley National Leadership School in Phoenix.
Four finalists for the top award, including Simpson, were announced the first night.
“I’d say what set us apart is that we strive for academic excellence in our fraternity,” Sams said. “We’ve won the Grade Cup for the past eight semesters at Simpson.”
The Grade Cup is a competition among Simpson’s fraternities and sororities to see which can post the best overall grades each semester.
“We put grades above a lot of other stuff,” Sams said. “That’s a core value for us.”
Many of the 56 fraternity members from the past academic year, as well as a number of alumni, were waiting for social media to deliver the results during the final night’s banquet.
“We had multiple people retweeting our tweet that we sent out after we won, and people were texting, ‘This is great to wake up to,’” Sams said. “We had alumni congratulate us as well.”
Don’t expect the SAE members to take it easy now that they’ve won.
“We’re hoping to repeat it this year,” Sams said “There are some areas we want to improve on. We want to stay at the top at the national level.”